HMRC consults on raising AML fees

HMRC is considering raising the fees it charges the businesses it supervises under money laundering regulations by 80%–100%.

The Revenue has opened a consultation on the proposals, which it says are necessary to cover the costs of a significant number of new staff.

HMRC act as the supervisors of around 27,000 businesses in seven business sectors. These include accountancy service providers and estate agency businesses who are not supervised by a professional body; money service businesses, high value dealers, company service providers, bill payment service providers, and telecommunications and digital IT payment service providers who are not supervised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

HMRC says it is government policy that businesses should pay for the costs of supervision rather than this being funded through general taxation. Its current fee structure charges a fee of £130 per premises renewed annually for each premises a business operates from.

HMRC’s discussion paper identifies three fees model options to cover its expected costs from 2018-2020 and is inviting views on which to adopt.

One is to retain the current fees structure, but increase the level of fees ‘significantly’. The second is to alter the fee structure to no longer use the number of premises. HMRC is proposing to charge a two-part fee, made of a flat fee of £100 per business plus a turnover based fee that would be set at a small percentage (e.g. 0.03%). Businesses with a turnover less than £20,000 will not pay the additional turnover based fee.

The final option is to retain the current fees approach, of charging annually for each premises a business operates from, but with a scaling fee per premises. The premises fee will increase with the number of premises a business registers with HMRC.

The new fees structure would come into force from 1 December 2018.

The consultation is open for comment until 21 September.

Further information about the consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/anti-money-laundering-supervision-discussion-about-fees.

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